You Can Get Money from Foundations

You Can Get Money From Foundations

Winston Goldstein - Date: 2007-02-05

A foundation is a charitable organization formed to benefit some area of society. Why should you know this? You can get money from foundations for your projects.

A Foundation is an entity that functions as a non-profit corporation or charitable trust. Its purpose is to make grants for scientific, educational, cultural, religious, or other charitable purpose. The history of foundations dates back to the medieval times when a wealthy patron would usually endow a monastery or other religious group in perpetuity. Although they are used for many other purposes today, most Foundations still have specific goals that direct who receives the grants.

There are several types of Foundations and they are usually distinguished by the source of their funds. The Private Foundation receives its funds from a single source. This may be an individual, a family, or even a Corporation. The Public Foundation receives its funding from multiple sources. This could be from groups of Corporations, or Government agencies, or even Private Foundations. The differences here mainly impact the tax exempt requires imposed on the Foundations by the Internal Revenue Service.

Surprisingly, Foundations have a very low profile on the internet. It is estimated that less than 10% of all Foundations in the United States maintain web sites. One of the reasons for this could be that many Foundations are locally orientated. They provide grants to a particular area, and the very nature of the World Wide Web leads to exposure beyond the intended area of interest.

The total number of Foundations is rising steadily as the population continues to grow. In 1975, there were 21,887 Foundations making grants in the U.S. By 2004, that number had grown to 67,736. It is hard to pin point the exact reason behind this three fold increase in just twenty five years. Some people attribute the growth to tax breaks that Corporations and individuals receive for funding Foundations, while others see it in a less cynical way as just the increasing sense of social responsibility of the wealthy.

The first Foundations were designed to support religious institutions, but this has changed very much over the years. In a list that divided all Foundation grants into major groups, religion ranked last in number of grants. Science and technology was also near the bottom and social science ranked just slightly ahead of religion. Leading the list was Arts, Culture, and the Humanities. Education and Environment held the second and third positions. Although the Foundations themselves do not generally maintain an internet presence, information about them and how to apply for them is available.

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